By Mariel Yacolca Maguina
Feb 11, 2023
Until 2019, abortions weren’t widely legal anywhere in Latin America except for Cuba and Uruguay; whereas, in the United States, Roe v. Wade widely legalized abortions throughout the country in 1973. Within the last two years, however, countries in Latin America made advances in reproductive rights while the U.S. became increasingly restrictive and finally overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson case. How have the United States and Latin America diverged in their approach to reproductive rights?
In 2015, Argentinian feminists marched with the slogan #NiUnaMenos [“Not one (woman) less”] and started demanding action against gender-based violence and for the end to abortion restrictions. In order to obtain support from the population, #NiUnaMenos framed the issue of abortion as a social justice problem that disproportionally affected low-income women who could not afford safe illegal abortions and often died during clandestine procedures. According to The Economist, upper and middle-class women could get safe illegal abortions by taking misoprostol, which cost about 112 USD, or a surgical abortion which cost 1000 USD. If there were complications, wealthy women could access private healthcare; whereas, low-income women had to seek aid at public hospitals, where the staff was likely to report them.
By Amanda Connolly, Global News
Posted July 6, 2022
From the streets of Poland to crowds in Argentina, Mexico and, most recently, the United States following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion rights protests have something in common: the colour green.
Green banners, snapping in the air. Green scarves, green bandanas, green shirts.
After the overturning of Roe v Wade in the United States, Argentina’s Green Wave may serve as a blueprint for feminist and trans-feminist movements across the world.
Mariela Belski, Executive director of Amnesty International Argentina
29 Jun 2022
With the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade – the landmark 1973 ruling that enshrined the right to abortion in the United States – the global map of abortion rights has been reversed.
While in the second half of the 20th century the global North was at the forefront of abortion law reform, with the US among its leading exponents, today it is feminist and trans-feminist movements in Latin America that are advancing discussions that put reproductive autonomy and gender justice centre stage.
By: Carlos Edill Berríos Polanco
MAY 31, 2022
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A green wave of pro-choice demonstrators washed over Old San Juan on Saturday, May 28 —the International Day of Action for Women’s Health— to demand abortion rights be protected in the face of legislative attacks.
Following a leaked draft ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that signaled it was moving to overturn Roe v. Wade, and a push to limit abortion at 22 weeks by the Puerto Rico Life and Family Commission with Senate Project 693 (PS 693), pro-choice activists gathered in front of the Jose V. Toledo Courthouse in Old San Juan for a “Marea Verde por el Derecho a Decidir” (Green Wave for the Right to Decide) to protest against the assault on reproductive rights.
The campaign to legalize abortion began sometime in the late 1970s, when the “grandmothers” of the green wave were living in exile across Europe.
By Cecilia Nowell
On Tuesday evening, Argentina was filled with
green: green graffiti proclaiming “Children, Not Mothers,” green banners
exclaiming “It Will Be Law,” and green bandanas reading “National Campaign for
Legal, Safe, and Free Abortion.” Teenagers and grown women alike tied the green
handkerchiefs of the campaign to legalize abortion around their necks to signal
their devotion to the cause as they poured out into the streets of more than
120 cities. Together, they stood vigil for nearly 12 hours as the Argentine
Senate debated a bill to legalize abortion.
Just after 4 AM on Wednesday, as hundreds of thousands waited on the steps of
the Palace of the Argentine National Congress, the news came in: With 38 votes
in favor, 29 opposed, and 1 abstention, abortion was legalized. Crowds cheered
and sobbed with relief.
September 28, 2020
By Reuters Staff
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Women charged police lines and threw Molotov cocktails at officers in Mexico City on Monday during protests demanding the legalization of abortion in the majority Roman Catholic country.
The protesters, clad in the green bandanas that have become the symbol of the pro-choice movement in Latin America, gathered in Mexico’s capital to mark International Safe Abortion Day, which is celebrated each year on Sept. 28.
The pandemic put anticipated legislative progress on Argentina’s abortion reform on hold, but activists are determined to keep up the momentum.
Cora Fernández Anderson
July 9, 2020
Early in 2020, it appeared that the legalization of abortion was, at last, imminent in Argentina. After a long struggle by activists, the elements of a strong movement, favorable public opinion, and sympathetic allies in power all aligned in favor of finally reforming the 1921 criminal code that allows a legal abortion only under the narrow circumstances of rape or a threat to a woman’s life and health. Following last year’s general elections, support permeated the halls of power: a multi-party coalition in Congress, the presidents of the Senate and lower house, the heads of the congressional commissions charged with discussing the bill, and even the president of the country all supported reform.
But then, in early March, Covid-19 reached Argentina. The government declared a lockdown, and everything stopped—including the prospects of abortion reform.
“Green Tide” Reaches Mexico as Oaxaca Decriminalizes Abortion
Oaxaca's monumental decision last week to decriminalize abortion is part of a larger "Green Tide" movement across Latin America.
October 3, 2019
The chambers of the state legislature in Oaxaca, Mexico, exploded with shouts of joy and rage September 25 as the region voted to decriminalize first-trimester abortions in a 24-10 vote. In the gallery, Catholic protesters chanted, “Assassins! Assassins!” while awaiting the vote. But when the decision was announced, feminist activists, clad in the green bandanas that have become the symbol of the Latin American pro-abortion movement, broke out in shouts of “Latin America will be entirely feminist.”
The vote exemplified the division between Mexicos deep Catholic, traditionally anti-abortion roots and its growing feminist movements. This tension was on full display in the chambers. Feminist activist Patricia Matus was one of the women celebrating in the legislature when the vote was announced. “The environment was horrible,” she said, describing pro-life demonstrators holding mass outside the state building, a verbal argument between male and female representatives that nearly delayed the vote, and shouting in the gallery.
Mexican Activists Take to Streets to Demand Safe, Legal Abortions
September 29, 2019
MEXICO CITY - Mexican activists took to the streets in large cities Saturday to demand safe and legal abortions, many wearing green bandanas that have become a symbol with the abortion rights movement in Latin America.
The protests on International Safe Abortion Day come after the Mexican state of Oaxaca on Wednesday approved a bill to legalize abortion, making it only the second region after Mexico City to permit the procedure.
No going back: The two sides in Argentina's abortion debate
By Katy Watson, BBC South America correspondent, Buenos Aires
7 August 2018
It is the middle of winter in Buenos Aires, but a spring-like green has blossomed in the city in recent months.
Everywhere you go, you see women wearing emerald pañuelos (bandanas) around their necks, wrapped around their wrists, or tied to their bags.
The bandanas are the symbol of the National Campaign for the Right to Legal, Safe and Free Abortion which started in 2005.